“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’[b] 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the congregation. But if he refuses even to hear the congregation, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loose (Matthew 18:15-18)
Father, I pray for my children to understand the way You want us to resolve conflicts with other believers. Help them to understand that sweeping sin under the rug is not Your way. May they not confuse "judging others" with this concept. Help them to understand that it is not judging to confront a brother or sister about sin. I pray they will understand that ignoring sin or just writing someone off is judgement. It is saying they are not worthy of reconciliation and restoration. Judgement is a lack of love. Judgement is indifference.
Father, I pray for them to understand that when we allow sin in our lives, in our families, or in our congregations of believers, we actually bind that sin (and evil's influence and consequence) to us. We allow sin to take power instead of Your Word. I was a long time coming to this understanding, and I pray my children will learn it early. I pray they will practice it in their marriage, their parenting, in their friendships, and in their workplaces.
Father, the part about treating them like heathen seems harsh, but I understand You are telling us to avoid those who won't obey You. We are to pray for them and believe for them to return, like the prodigal son, but we are not to pursue them. Help us to understand that You will work on them and trust You to work.